CLOUD CREEPER showed a fine turn of foot to win by six lengths between the flags at Stradbally in May. Now with Donald McCain, the five-year-old can beat fellow winning pointers Mandarin Sunset and No Deal, second in a bumper at Tipperary in the spring, and make a winning start under Rules. Two Oscars has failed to build on a debut third at Hereford but Phoenix Returns may be capable of improving on a couple of placed efforts last season and shouldn't be far away. Newcomers Big Sound and Brae On have decent pedigrees but Bold Slasher ran out on debut at Hereford and may still need this.
Big Sound Supreme Sound gelding out of Tarbolton Moss.
Bold Slasher (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear on outside, headway 8f out, ridden and lost place over 4f out, ran out 2f out, in a race won by Karazhan (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f NH flat (6) gs in Oct, 12 ran.
Brae On (IRE) Presenting gelding out of Raphuca.
Cloud Creeper (IRE) 2-1 (12-0) Tr ldrs, 5th 1/2way, imp to ld app str, quickend well from last, won at Stradbally 3m ire ptp gd in May beating Sergeant Kelly (11-4) by 6l, 13 ran.
Mandarin Sunset (IRE) 2-1 (11-7) Held up; hdwy to ld aft 2 out; drvn out, won at Corbridge 3m ptp gd in Mar beating Nickwillis (12-0) by 2 1/2l, 16 ran.
No Deal 3-1 (11-7) Led, joined briefly 7f out, regained lead approaching straight, strongly pressed 2f out and joined 1f out, kept on under pressure, headed closing stages, 2nd of 17, hd behind Do Ya Feel Lucky (12-0) at Tipperary 2m 2f N H flat gf in May.
Phoenix Returns (IRE) 7-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd over 3f out, ridden over 1f out, no impression on winner, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Keeneland (11-5) at Musselburgh 2m NH flat (6) gd in Jan.
Two Oscars (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) With winner until 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 5th of 12, 24l behind Aeschylus (11-3) at Towcester 2m NH flat (6) gd in Apr.